We are delighted to announce that Professor David Haslam CBE, Chair of the National Institute for Clinical Excellence, and formerly President and chair of the RCGP, and President of the BMA, has agreed to become a Patron of the LTF, joining Baroness Ilora Finlay of Llandaff in the role.
Professor Haslam, in supporting the objectives of The LTF, said
“Risk factors in medicine should always be taken seriously. High blood pressure carries an increased risk of stroke, and the healthcare professions go out of their way to address it. Being a smoker is the single greatest preventable risk factor of all, and tackling smoking is taken very seriously. And being a doctor increases the risk of stress, of depression, of suicide. Like any risk factor, we need to take it seriously. We need to understand, to listen, to care. We need to understand why colleagues may be reluctant to seek help. Why do we have to be so perfect?
Suicide is always – but always – a tragedy. More than anything, it is a tragedy for the individual concerned, but it is tragic for family, friends, colleagues, and patients. A profession that dedicates itself to caring for others is often remarkably poor at caring for itself. It shouldn’t be seen as being brave for a doctor to admit to being depressed. It should simply be seen as being honest, and a trigger for action.”